Labor Media Could Learn From Black Media

June 3, 2004

Also published at

Few would dispute that the corporate media do a better job of persuading their consumers to support corporate policies than the labor media do of persuading their readers to support political policies and politicians that benefit workers.

Of course, few have any idea what I even mean by “the labor media.” Unlike what was meant by that phrase 75 years ago in the United States or what is meant by it today in Sweden, I mean read more

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Reagan Redux

June 6, 2004

Also published at and and

Ronald Reagan had the birth of a deity. Within 20 minutes of his inauguration, Iran freed the hostages that wimpy Jimmy Carter had been unable to rescue. I was 11 years old at the time and impressed but baffled. How had he done it?

No one seemed to know or very much care. Apparently the Iranians had wanted to make a statement about how much they disliked Carter, and we didn’t read more

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Cable Television Perfects Presidential Coverage

June 9, 2004

It’s official. Cable television has now completely and thoroughly covered presidential politics, fully informing all Americans of all the issues, positions, promises, and disputes. That job completed, one cable channel has moved on to the important public function of making shit up.

No, I don’t mean Fox News. I’m referring to Showtime’s new presidential election reality TV show, in which 12 “candidates” will pretend to run for president. What could read more

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Texas Dems Unite Against Occupation of Iraq

June 21, 2004

Delegates to the Texas Democratic Convention on Saturday found a unifying passion that the Democratic Party nationally has lacked. If the national convention in Boston ends up looking anything like this state convention in Houston, the Dems will have developed a powerful answer to the common question “Well, yeah, Bush is lousy but what does Kerry stand for?”

The only catch is that the position that Texas Democrats have united behind is not shared by Senator John Kerry, read more

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Democrats Not As Alone As They Think

July 2, 2004

Last Saturday I went knocking on doors in Lancaster, Penn., with the AFL-CIO to talk about the election. We knocked on only union household doors, but a tragic 34 percent of union members who voted in 2000 voted for Bush, and recent polls have shockingly suggested no change in that figure. So I didn’t know what to expect.

Every single person who told me and my door-knocking partner who they were voting for was for Kerry, and all of their household members were for Kerry. No one read more

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The New Veep? Surprise Us, Senator!

July 6, 2004

Dear Senator John Kerry,

You may have already chosen your running mate, but I’d like to ask you to reconsider.

Do you remember when the pundits who pass for journalists in this country said that you’d have to vote for an illegal aggressive war if you wanted to run for president? Do you remember that they were wrong, that you had to campaign against your own record during the primaries and tie yourself in knots to explain your vote against more funding for the same illegal read more

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Media Black Out Story of Labor Opposition to War

Recently the two biggest stories in the U.S. news media have been the war in Iraq and the presidential election campaign. Labor unions have been part of a number of major stories on the presidential campaign, especially stories about Senator Kerry’s selection of John Edwards as a running mate.

But labor has not been part of stories on the war. There was some reason for that up until a few weeks ago. The AFL-CIO has not taken a position on the war, and most of the international unions have read more

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I'll Follow Kucinich to Kerry, Sorry Ralph

July 27, 2004
If Kerry is a “flip-flopper” because he won’t end the war (or the “Patriot Act” or NAFTA or private health insurance) even as he speaks against these horrors, what do we have to call Kucinich, who insists on ending these things even as he endorses Kerry? And what can we expect Dennis to say on Wednesday when he delivers a Kerry-approved speech to the Democratic National Convention? Will he speak against the war, as he told “Democracy Now”‘s read more

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Media Underreport Major New Threat to Right to Organize

By David Swanson, ILCA Media Coordinator
Part of the Media Blackout series on underreported labor stories

While illegal violations of the right to organize a union — such as the firing of employees who express support for a union — are routinely underreported by the corporate media, the past 60 days have witnessed the underreporting of a serious new threat to the right to organize, a threat raised by the National Labor Relations Board. Nexis searching finds no mention of this story read more

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Workplace Rights Under Threat

By David Swanson
August 3, 2004

In 1935 the National Labor Relations Board was created for the purpose of encouraging collective bargaining – that is, unionization. The NLRB is not some radical left-wing group. It’s the U.S. government body that oversees labor and management relations. But it was created in a different era and no longer serves its intended purpose.

Within the past two months, the NLRB has decided by a 3-2 vote along party lines
1) that graduate students working read more

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